Archive for the ‘missionaries’ Category

I have sometimes seen, in the morning sun, the smoke of a thousand villages, where no missionary has ever been

January 12, 2010

In 1839, after years of service in South Africa, the famous missionary Robert Moffat returned to Scotland to recruit helpers. When he arrived at the church one cold wintry night, he was dismayed that only a small group had come out to hear him. What bothered him even more was that the only people in attendance were ladies. Although he was grateful for their interest, he had hoped to challenge men. He had chosen as his text Proverbs 8:4, “Unto you, O men I call.” Moffat had one stirring challenge in his message: “I have sometimes seen, in the morning sun, the smoke of a thousand villages, where no missionary has ever been.” Moffat felt frustrated as he gave the message, for he realized that very few women could be expected to undergo the rigorous life in undeveloped jungles. In his discouragement Moffat almost failed to notice one young man assisting the organist. That young man was deeply moved by the challenge and heard the call of God. The following year, David Livingstone, that young man who had heard Robert Moffat’s challenge and God’s call, sailed to Africa. For the next thirty- three years, he ministered in the interior of Africa to villages where no missionary had ever been before.

John Mark Ministries

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Forbid it that we should ever consider the holding of a commission from the King of Kings a sacrifice, so long as men esteem the service of an earthly sovereign an honour

January 12, 2010

Forbid it that we should ever consider the holding of a commission from the King of Kings a sacrifice, so long as men esteem the service of an earthly sovereign an honour…I am a missionary, heart and soul. God had an only Son, and He was a missionary and a physician. A poor, poor imitation I am or wish to be. In this service I hope to live, in it I wish to die.

David Livingstone, quoted in Michael A. Robinson, God Does Exist!, Author House 2006, p.188

The Taiyuan Massacre was the mass killing of foreign Christian missionaries and of local church members, including children, from July 1900, and was one of the bloodier and more infamous parts of the Boxer Rebellion

November 17, 2009

The Taiyuan Massacre was the mass killing of foreign Christian missionaries and of local church members, including children, from July 1900, and was one of the bloodier and more infamous parts of the Boxer Rebellion. 222 Chinese Eastern Orthodox Christians were also murdered, along with 182 Protestant missionaries and 500 Chinese Protestants known as the China Martyrs of 1900. 48 Catholic missionaries and 18,000 Chinese Catholics were murdered.

Wikipedia

O slavery! Thou offspring of the devil…when wilt thou cease to exist?

October 20, 2009

John Smith was a 19th C. London Missionary Society missionary to Demerara, South America. He saw slavery first hand. He wrote in his diary: ‘O slavery! Thou offspring of the devil…when wilt thou cease to exist?’

Increasingly he found himself in conflict with the plantation authorities over such matters as physical maltreatment of the slaves or their being compelled to work on Sundays, and the very act of teaching the slaves to read was accurately regarded by the colonial authorities as having potential for subversion.

Brian Stanley, The Bible and the Flag, Apollos, 1990, p.87

…the planters and their political allies preceived evangelical missions to be a threat to their power and to the stability of colonial society. Relations between colonists and missionaries were never cordial and were frequently antagonistic.

ibid., p.90

Footnote

John Smith (1790 – 1824) was a missionary whose experiences in the West Indies attracted the attention of the anti-slavery campaigner, William Wilberforce.

Smith arrived in Demerara under the auspices of the London Missionary Society in March, 1817. He lived at plantation Le Resouvenir, where he preached at Bethel Chapel, primarily attended by African slaves.

On the night of 17 August 1823, about ten to twelve thousand slaves drawn from plantations on the East Coast of the Demerara colony rebelled, under the belief that their masters were concealing news of the slaves’ emancipation.

Smith was subsequently charged with promoting discontent and dissatisfaction in the minds of the African slaves, exciting the slaves to rebel, and failing to notify the authorities that the slaves intended to rebel. In his trial he was defended by William Arrindell[1] and was sentenced to death. Wilberforce stepped in to arrange a reprieve, but, by the time it arrived, Smith had already perished as a result of the awful conditions in jail. His death was a major step forward in the campaign to abolish slavery.

References

  1. ^ The Solicitors’ Journal and Reporter. vol. VII. London: Yates and Alexander. 1863. pp. 266.
  • Costa, Emilia Viotti da (1994). “Crowns of Glory, Tears of Blood”. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-508298-2

The plain exhibition of the doctrines of the Gospel was exceedingly offensive to many of (Henry Martyn’s) hearers

October 9, 2009

The plain exhibition of the doctrines of the Gospel was exceedingly offensive to many of (Henry Martyn’s) hearers. Nor did the ferment thus excited subside quickly, as it often does, into pity or contempt. He had the pain very shortly after, of being personally attacked from the pulpit by some of his brethren, whose zeal hurried them into the violation, not only of an express canon of the Church, but of the yet higher law of Christian charity, and led them to make an intemperate attack upon him and upon many of the truths of the Gospel. Even when he was himself present at Church, Mr. ______ spoke with sufficient plainness of him and of his doctrines, calling them inconsistent, extravagant and absurd; drawing a vast variety of false inferences from them, and thence arguing against them — declaring, for instance, that to affirm repentance to be the gift of God— and to teach that nature is wholly corrupt, was to drive men to despair — that to suppose the righteousness of Christ sufficient to justify, is to make it unnecessary to have any of our own. Though compelled to listen to this downright heresy; to hear himself described as knowing neither what he said, nor whereof he affirmed — and as speaking only to gratify self-sufficiency, pride, and uncharitableness, — “I rejoiced,” said this meek and holy man thus unjustly aspersed, “to receive the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper afterwards — as the solemnities of that blessed ordinance sweetly tended to soothe any asperity of mind; and I think that I administered the cup to ______ and _______, with sincere good-will.”

The Life and Letters of Henry Martyn, John Sargent, Banner, 1985, p.154-155

Searching for evidences for the purpose of ascertaining whether we are in Christ widely differs from searching for them to warrant a boldness of access to Christ: for this we require no evidence; but need only the passport of faith, and the plea of our own wretchedness

October 9, 2009

(Henry Martyn) was assaulted by a temptation more dangerous than uncommon — a temptation to look to himself for some qualification with which to approach the Savior — for something to warrant his confidence in him, and hope of acceptance from him. — Searching for evidences for the purpose of ascertaining whether we are in Christ widely differs from searching for them to warrant a boldness of access to Christ: for this we require no evidence; but need only the passport of faith, and the plea of our own wretchedness: and as it is the design of our great adversary (such is his subtlety) to lead us to deny the evidences of faith altogether — so it is his purpose to betray us into a legal and mistaken use of them. We find Mr. Martyn at this time expressing himself thus: — “I could derive no comfort from reflecting on my past life. Indeed exactly in proportion as I looked for evidences of grace, I lost that brokenness of spirit I wished to retain, and could not lie with simplicity at the foot of the cross. I really thought that I was departing this life. I began to pray as on the verge of eternity: and the Lord was pleased to break my hard heart. I lay in tears interceding for the unfortunate natives of this country; thinking with myself that the most despicable Soodar of India was of as much value in the sight of God as the King of Great Britain.

The Life and Letters of Henry Martyn, John Sargent, Banner, 1985, p.151

My feelings were those of a man who should suddenly be told, that every friend he had in the world was dead

September 28, 2009

In a letter to Charles Simeon, Henry Martyn recounted the moment when the full realisation of leaving England to be a missionary in India hit him:

It was a very painful moment to me when I awoke, on the morning after you left us, and found the fleet actually sailing down the channel. Though it was what I had anxiously been looking forward to so long, yet the consideration of being parted forever from my friends, almost overcame me. My feelings were those of a man who should suddenly be told, that every friend he had in the world was dead. It was only by prayer for them that I could be comforted ; and this was indeed a refreshment to my soul, because by meeting them at the throne of grace, I seemed to be again in their society.

Henry Martyn, missionary, translator of the Bible into Hindi and New Testament into Persian. His memoir is highly recommended to inspire spiritual devotion.

From, John Sargent, The Life and Letters of Henry Martin, Banner of Truth, 1985, p.91

I could only adore the sovereign grace of God, which distinguished me from him, though every thing was alike in us. We have been intimate from our infancy ; and have had the same plans and pursuits, and nearly the same condition : but the one is taken and the other is left

September 28, 2009

Just prior to leaving England forever, Henry Martyn urged his acquaintances to turn to Christ. He spoke of one, named M.

M_____ rode with me part of the way, but kept the conversation on general subjects. If I brought him by force to religion, he spoke with the most astonishing apathy on the subject. His cold, deliberate superiority to every thing but argument, convinced me not merely that he was not only fully convinced, as he said, but that he was rooted in infidelity. Nothing remained for me but to pray for him. Though he parted from me probably to see me no more, he said nothing that could betray the existence of any passions in him. O cursed infidelity, that freezes the heart’s blood here, as well as destroys the soul hereafter ! I could only adore the sovereign grace of God, which distinguished me from him, though every thing was alike in us. We have been intimate from our infancy ; and have had the same plans and pursuits, and nearly the same condition : but the one is taken and the other is left. I, through mercy, find my only joy and delight in the knowledge of Christ ; and he in denying the truth of religion altogether.

Henry Martyn, missionary, translator of the Bible into Hindi and New Testament into Persian. His memoir is highly recommended to inspire spiritual devotion

From, John Sargent, The Life and Letters of Henry Martin, Banner of Truth, 1985, p.65-66

All our conversation on the subject of religion ended in nothing. He was convinced that he was right, and all the texts I produced were, according to him, applicable only to the times of the Apostles

September 28, 2009

A certain person, though well-intentioned, tried to dissuade Henry Martyn from going to India as a missionary. Martyn remarked:

“All our conversation on the subject of religion ended in nothing. He was convinced that he was right, and all the texts I produced were, according to him, applicable only to the times of the Apostles.”

 …When called to encounter the ridicule of those who, not knowing the hope of Christ’s calling, nor the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, nor the exceeding greatness of his power towards those who believe, despised all labors of love amongst the heathen as wild and visionary ; the Lord helped (Martyn) to keep his ground, and to bear his testimony. “With my Bible in my hand, and Christ at my right hand,” said he, “I can do all things: what though the whole world believe not, God abideth true, and my hope in him shall be steadfast.

From, John Sargent, The Life and Letters of Henry Martin, Banner of Truth, 1985, p.60

If I had the true love of souls, I should long and labor for those around me, and afterwards for the conversion of the Heathen

September 28, 2009

I may reasonably doubt the reality of every gracious affection, they are so like the morning cloud, and transient as the early dew. If I had the true love of souls, I should long and labor for those around me, and afterwards for the conversion of the Heathen.

Henry Martyn, missionary, translator of the Bible into Hindi and New Testament into Persian. His memoir is highly recommended to inspire spiritual devotion

From, John Sargent, The Life and Letters of Henry Martin, Banner of Truth, 1985, p.31

God grant us the ‘true love of souls’ that ‘should long and labor for those around’ us.